I first tried this delicious little pincho last year in the narrow tapas streets of Logroño in La Rioja, on a trip to celebrate my husband Nick’s 40th birthday, which just happened to fall on the weekend of the Logroño wine festival, what a bonus!
The region of La Rioja is not only famed for its wine production, it is also rife with mushrooms, and the local tapas bars and restaurants celebrate these earthy yet delicate fungi in many of their dishes, in some cases even growing their own in cellars nearby!
One of Logroño’s most famous tapas haunts, Bar Soriano, serves only this dish, mushrooms griddled with sea salt and garlic butter, skewered onto a pincho stick but instead of jamón, serves a little shrimp at the top and a slice of bread at the bottom to soak up the flow of delicious buttery juices, ¡delicioso! People cram into the little bar, shouting for ‘un pincho y una rioja’, savour the gorgeous wine and the unbelievably flavoursome mushrooms, and then come back time and time again!
Since returning from Rioja we have recreated and enjoyed this tapas dish many times, the garlic aromas transporting us back to that bar in Logroño, and of course having the Rioja alongside! Sometimes I serve it with a shrimp, but my all time favourite is with a slice of Spanish jamón, or simply stick with just the mushroom if you prefer, it’s just as good!
Ingredients (to make 4 pinchos):